Red Sox vs. White Sox Game 3
By: Ron Patrick
Boston got this series to even with a 6-4 victory in five extra innings Wednesday night. The Red Sox tied the game at 3-3 with a run in the top of the ninth, then, after both teams scored single runs in the 11th inning, Boston tallied twice in the top of the 14th against Chicago IF Leury Garcia, on the hill because the White Sox ran out of relievers.
On the injury front Boston's Mike Napoli missed Wednesday's game with a bad finger, and is questionable for Thursday's game. But in a bit of good news for the Red Sox Dustin Pedroia, who had missed the previous two games with a sore wrist, played Wednesday and had two hits.
As of early Thursday morning we found Chicago and Chris Sale at -108 at 5Dimes, while Boston and Jon Lester could be bet at +106 at The Greek.
Sale (3-0, 2.66) is two-for-three on quality starts this season; he opened by giving up three runs in 7 1/3 innings against Minnesota; then he threw eight scoreless innings against Kansas City; and last time out he gave up three runs and six hits in five innings against Cleveland.
Chicago is 2-1 in Sale's starts, with the totals going 2-1.
This will be Sale's first-ever start versus the Red Sox.
Lester (1-2, 2.57) is three-for-three on quality starts; first he held Baltimore to two ER through seven innings; then he gave up four runs, but just two earned, in 7 1/3 innings against Milwaukee; and most recently he limited the Yankees to two runs through 6 2/3 innings.
Boston is only 1-2 in Lester's starts, but all three have stayed UNDER on the totals.
Lester started once against Chicago last year, and got clipped for five ER and seven hits in six innings of a 6-4 Boston loss.
Free Pick for Thursday
We're not believers in the White Sox yet, but their bats have been hot (coming into this series), and we give Sale the edge in the pitching match-up. So we'll go with Chicago for our free MLB pick on this series finale.
Red Sox vs. White Sox Game 2
By: Ron Patrick
The White Sox won as +130 home dogs, and the game, as we hoped it would, played UNDER its total of 8.5 on the MLB odds board, as the teams combined for just eight hits.
The Red Sox have now been held to a total of 16 runs over their last six games.
Boston will try to stop the bleeding when the teams meet for Game 2 of this series Wednesday night (8:10 pm ET).
On the injury front Boston's Dustin Pedroia missed the last two games with a sore wrist, but there's a chance he'll be back in the lineup Wednesday night. However, he's just three for his last 27 at the plate, so his presence might not necessarily help.
Also, BoSox slugger Mike Napoli dislocated a finger Tuesday night, and his status for Wednesday is uncertain.
In the early betting most books were listing Boston and Clay Buchholz at around -140 over Chicago and John Danks, with a total of eight runs.
Also, those who like to gamble could get the Red Sox at upwards of +125 giving the run and a half on the run line.
Danks, by our tough standards, is one-for-two on quality starts this season. First, he gave up three ER in seven innings against Kansas City, then allowed three ER in six innings against Cleveland. Chicago lost his first start, then won his second.
Last year Danks started once against Boston, and got clipped for five ER and 11 hits in five innings of a 7-2 White Sox defeat.
Buchholz is also one-for-two on quality starts this year. First, he got bombed by Milwaukee for six runs and 13 hits in 4 1/3 innings; then he allowed two ER in six innings against the Yankees. The Red Sox lost both those games.
Last year Buchholz started once against Chicago, giving up just one run and five hits in seven innings of a 6-2 Boston victory.
Wednesday's Free Pick
We lean toward the Red Sox in the pitching match-up, and Boston owns the better bullpen. But at the moment the BoSox are having trouble scoring runs, which makes it tough to back them financially. So for what looks like it will be another chilly night at the Cell we'll go with the UNDER eight runs offered at 5Dimes for our free pick on Wednesday's game.
Red Sox vs. White Sox Game 1
By: Ron Patrick
The Betting Lines
In the early betting most books listed Boston and Jake Peavy at around -140 for Tuesday's game over Chicago and Erik Johnson, with a total of 8.5. The Sox were also listed at around +120 on the run line.
The Greek was chalking the Red Sox at -140 to win this series, with the White Sox getting +120 as home dogs.
Boston just dropped three of four games to the Yankees in New York over the weekend, scoring a total of just 11 runs for the series. So the defending World Series champions are 5-8 out of the gate, bringing up the rear in the AL East, two games behind the first-place Yankees.
Chicago, meanwhile, just took three of four games at home from Cleveland, winning Sunday's series finale 4-3 on a walk-off homer by Alexei Ramirez. For the series the Sox scored 26 runs, but gave up 24.
So Chicago, at 6-4, sits in second place in the AL Central, a half-game behind first-place Detroit.
Tuesday's Pitching Match-Up
Johnson is 0-for-two on quality starts so far this season; first, he got bombed for seven runs and 10 hits in less than five innings by Kansas City; then he gave up four runs and nine hits in less than six innings against Colorado. Chicago lost both those games, and both games played OVER on the totals.
Johnson made five starts as a rookie last fall, allowing 32 hits and 10 ER in 28 innings, picking up three victories. This will be Johnson's first-ever start against the Red Sox.
Chicago's team ERA ranks 29th in the Majors at 5.48, and its bullpen has been the worst in baseball, with a 6.93 ERA. Fortunately for the White Sox they've been scoring a ton of runs.
Peavy (0-0, 2.13), who came to Boston from the White Sox last July, is two-for-two on quality starts this season. First he held Milwaukee to two runs through six innings of a game the BoSox eventually lost 6-2; then he held Texas to one run in 6 2/3 innings of a 4-2 Sox win. Through 12 2/3 innings Peavy has allowed nine hits, walked six and whiffed 12.
Also, both of Peavy's starts have played UNDER on the totals.
Last year, splitting his time between Chicago and Boston, Peavy went 12-5 with a 4.16 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.
Peavy started once against his former team last year, holding the White Sox to two runs and five hits through seven innings of a 7-2 Boston victory last August.
The Red Sox have actually gotten nine quality starts from their rotation so far, and the bullpen ranks eighth with a 2.87 ERA.
Boston is averaging just 3.5 runs per game so far this season, while hitting just .204 with runners in scoring position. And the Red Sox have only stolen four bases.
Chicago, led by Ramirez (13-game hitting streak) and newcomer Jose Abreu, leads the Majors in scoring at 6.2 runs per game. The White Sox also rank second in team OPS at a healthy .816, and third in homers with 18.
Boston is 3-10 on the totals this season, because the pitching staff has been good, but the bats have been cold.
Chicago is 9-4 on the totals, because its sticks have been hot but its pitching has been lousy.
Boston took the season series last year four games to two, with the totals going 2-2-2, as Sox² games averaged a very average 8.5 runs per.
Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia missed Sunday's game with a bad wrist, and his status for Tuesday's game is uncertain. The Sox are already without OF Shane Victorino (hamstring), 3B Will Middlebrooks (calf) and RP Koji Uehara (shoulder).
On the other side of the ledger Chicago is without 2B Gordon Beckham (oblique).
Free Pick for Tuesday
This is a tough one; Boston owns the edge in the pitching match-up and in the bullpen comparison, while Chicago, for the moment, get the check mark with the bats. Honestly, we're just not sure who's going to win this game. So we'll look toward the total for our free pick for Tuesday.
Boston's bats are cold, and its lineup is missing several key cogs. Also, it will go against a pitcher (Johnson) it hasn't seen before. Meanwhile, Red Sox pitching has been good. And while Chicago's sticks have been making noise, it's going to be chilly on the South Side tonight. So we'll go with the UNDER 8.5 runs offered at Pinnacle for our free MLB pick for Tuesday.We'll update this page as this series plays out, with more pitching match-ups and free picks to come.